The most clutch players in Los Angeles Lakers history

Magic Johnson rookie card (Photo by: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Magic Johnson rookie card (Photo by: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) /
3 of 4
(Photo by JAMES NIELSEN/AFP via Getty Images) – Los Angeles Lakers
(Photo by JAMES NIELSEN/AFP via Getty Images) – Los Angeles Lakers /

Most clutch Los Angeles Lakers, no. 5 and 4

5. James Worthy

No. 42 was many things. A six-foot-nine small forward with great post-up abilities as well as a great floor runner and a tremendous finisher. He also played alongside three of the all-time greatest players.

Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and James Worthy were a deadly trio in the 1980s. He also played alongside Michael Jordan in college during their days in North Carolina.

Worthy was quite the clutch player. When it came down to big games, “Big Game James” always delivered. During the Lakers’ run for back-to-back championships, he took over in the 1988 NBA Finals against the Detroit Pistons and was named the series MVP. In the playoffs from 1987-1991, Worthy always averaged over 21 points per game.

4. Shaquille O’ Neal

There are few times in sports that athletes come along like Shaquille O’Neal. Not only do they have the physical and intimidating stature, but they also have the athletic ability and basketball IQ to take over games.

There was one word that summed up Shaq’s game: dominance.

MUST-READ: The history and future of Shaq’s NBA Finals streak

We saw time after time how he dominated opponents and took over games. When it came down to crunch time, you knew who the ball was going too and so did the opponents. Too bad for them they weren’t able to stop him.

In the 2000 NBA Finals against Larry Bird’s (another all-time clutch player) Indiana Pacers, O’Neal averaged 38 points and 16.7 rebounds per game. He averaged 33 points and 15.8 rebounds in the 2001 NBA Finals against the Philadelphia 76ers and in the 2002 NBA Finals against the New Jersey Nets, Shaq averaged 36.3 points and 12.3 rebounds.

One of the best Laker memories of all time was in the 2000 Western Conference Finals against the Portland Trail Blazers. Kobe lobbed the ball to Shaq who slammed it down one-handed to complete a comeback and move on to the NBA Finals.